Schools across Wrexham are continuing to play their part in the drive to cut plastic and save the planet.
Some small but important changes are taking place in school canteens across the country borough, as part of Wrexham Council’s commitment to ditching single-use plastic – the hard-to-recycle stuff that tends to get used once, and then thrown away.
Councillor David A. Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, says: “Too much plastic is a global problem – damaging the environment and clogging up our oceans.
“Programmes like BBC’s Blue Planet have highlighted the issue, and if we don’t act now, it’s future generations – today’s children – who will pick up the pieces.”
So what kind of changes are we making?
Cllr Bithell explains: “We’re making some encouraging changes as part of our pledge to cut single-use plastics…and a great example of this is the changes in our school canteens.
“Our school catering service is attacking the problem by replacing things like plastic forks with wooden ones, which can be recycled as food waste.
“This might sound like a small step, but if we all start making small changes – both as individuals and organisations – they’ll hopefully add up to something big in the long-term.”
Steps we’re taking in our high school canteens include:
• Replacing plastic forks with wooden ones that can be recycled as food waste.
• Removing disposable plastic cups from drinking fountains (encouraging pupils to use re-usable bottles and glasses).
• We’re also looking at biodegradable options to replace the plastic sandwich boxes used in our high schools.
In our primary school canteens, we’ve removed the single-use plastic pots that were used for desserts, and replaced them with re-usable ones.
“It’s really important…”
Moira Tennant, Cook in Charge at Rhosnesni High School, says: “Our school canteen is taking steps to improve how we do things.
“For instance, we no longer use plastic forks, and we’ve removed the plastic cups from the drinking fountain.
“We’re always looking for ways to try and do things better.”
Pupils are keen to get involved and learn about recycling too.
Freddie, a pupil from Maes Y Mynydd Primary School, says: “My school has taught me a lot about recycling, and me and my friends know which things can and can’t be recycled.
“It’s really important to recycle as much as we can.”
We’ve also been using our education facilities to show children where their recycling goes after it’s been collected.
Several schools have visited the Education Room at the Bryn Lane Recycling Centre to take part in interactive workshops.
A viewing window allows pupils to see how recyclable materials are bulked-up, ready to be taken away and recycled into new products.
One class was so impressed, they planned their own presentation – so they could feedback what they learnt to the rest of their school.
The work in our schools is part of a wider pledge by Wrexham Council to cut its use of single-use plastics.
Cllr Bithell says: “We want to play our part in helping Wrexham be at the forefront of recycling in Wales.
“To do this, we’ve made a pledge to reduce single-use plastics across the whole of the county borough – and that includes cutting the amount we use in our schools and other council buildings and facilities.
“We hope our pledge will resonate with the public, and we’ll be encouraging everyone in Wrexham – from households to businesses – to get involved by reducing their own use of single-use plastics.
“People in Wrexham are doing a great job with their recycling, and this is another step they can take with us to help the environment, and create a better future.”
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